PollApp is a software solution for easier processing of answers from public surveys.
Android based app, PollApp reassures companies, who use questionnaires, that the data they acclaimed are relevant and can help with the development of their projects. The app is also fully adjustable to client’s needs. PollApp is a system that lets people fill out questionnaires in electronic form. Later the system evaluates the answers avoiding any inaccuracies that might occur during manual counting.
Status quo before Revolware solution
Before PollApp project, Abakis was using only paper surveys sent to their employed interviewers by mail across Slovakia. The project manager arrived at the Post office in the morning and spent half of the day sending the surveys and blocking the line. The whole surveying process then took more than 14 days and usually involved several miscommunications and data losses.
Another problem was controlling the employed interviewers to actually survey people, instead of just filling the papers themselves at home. Abakis usually solved this by in-depth analysis of surveys conducted by randomly selected employees, looking for unlikely data patterns. Results of such checks were highly unreliable and presented a risk of firing a fair-minded employee and facing a lawsuit for wrongful termination of employment.
However, Abakis was really good at preparing the questions and contents of the surveys, as well as training the interviewers. They were able to fully prepare, train and contract a group of new employees in under 4 hours.
First solution proposals
Our first recommendation for the client was to use Google Forms, SurveyMonkey or TypeForm with hardware already owned by the employees. The biggest advantages would be fast answers collection and real-time correction of errors. Also, timestamps can be added to each reply, which would ease cheating detection. A disadvantage of such system is that only people owning a smartphone and pre-paid mobile data plans were employable. Also, most mainstream online surveying platforms don’t support branching questions and conditional displaying of follow-up questions when certain form answers are selected.
Another proposed solution was to implement a paper-survey scanning system, a similar to the one collecting tests of students at universities for autonomous evaluation. The proposal was based on a fact that it takes six Abakis employees on average more than 7 hours each to evaluate one full survey. However, this solution was rejected for high fixed costs while only solving one part of the problem.
After these first discussions and research, we have agreed to proceed with a digital MVP tested on the next nation-wide survey.
Minimum Viable Product
For a working digital solution, several issues needed to be resolved.
Firstly, Abakis needed to provide all its employees reliable hardware. The device needed to have a microphone and GPS component. Selection was then done by taking into account the price to battery-life ratio of the device. We have decided to buy Lenovo Ideapads 3, as a standardized hardware device and distributed it to the employees across Slovakia.
Secondly, software requirements that had to be met for a full nation-wide pilot testing included:
- Reliable surveying data collection
- Data exports to PCs
- Analytical features for cheating prevention
- Metadata collection
- Locking the devices to prevent data loss or corruption and private use
- Agile system, adding most important features first
- Development cycles based on sprints between surveys
- Special inputs ()
Solution for systematic repeatable surveys
With an MVP successfully tested, we could focus on making the software usable for more survey formats and support additional features including sound recordings of the interviews,
This phase required refactoring most of the codebase. Thanks to this restructuring, we have included
- Questions and answer option templates
- Better .csv formatted exports
- Sound recordings
- Multiple surveys at once handling
Distributed cloud-based solution
People can contribute from their own phones, sending data when they connect to wifi (required better phone-screen designs).
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